No doubt 2015 will continue to see a steady rise in the use of mobile devices and apps to share information and communicate with each other. However, the use of such technology by the NHS to communicate with patients varies across England, if the truth be told many organisations are missing out on the digital opportunities available to them. Last year we completed a project for the IPO which focused on Mobile Apps (http://innovationssoutheast.nhs.uk/healthcare-apps) so we were very interested to read the latest research paper from the Digital Healthcare Agency.
According to the report, the NHS is failing to keep pace with the increasingly mobile- savvy patients it serves. The study, which conducted Freedom of Information Requests to a number of NHS trusts, found that, despite a 118% increase in mobile visits to hospital websites, just 43% of these websites are mobile-optimized. This means that fewer than half of NHS hospitals present their content in a way that smartphone users can navigate and access clearly and easily.
In a press-release issued to mark the report's publication, Integrated Change's Development Director, Scott Hague, commented: "It's apparent that patients are incredibly receptive to mobile technology. And the NHS has some brilliant web resources for users and plenty of content for those looking for accurate healthcare information. The sheer volume and quality of what's available freely to users is certainly something to boast about. However, what the NHS is failing to do is ensure that this wealth of information is available to users in a format that reflects how they're trying to access it. You could go so far as to say that failing to mobile-optimize this content means the investment in maintaining it is wasted for a huge proportion of users."
The study also assessed the mobile apps made available to patients and users by 159 NHS trusts and found that just 15% of trusts have so far invested in mobile apps.
In addition to assessing data surrounding trusts and their mobile offerings, the study interviewed 100 private orthopaedic patients and found that almost half would find it useful to be able to make appointments via mobile and access certain information specific to their appointments and treatment.
You can access a full copy of the study at: https://www.integratedchange.net/whitepaper-uk-healthcare-is-not-keeping-pace-with-mobile-savvy-patients
You can contact Scott either by mobile 07833 447470 or by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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